The call by President Mnangagwa on Friday last week for farmers to be innovative to ensure the sector registers success is a good point which all other sectors of the economy should heed.
The President was speaking while officially opening the highly successful inaugural week-long re-branded Zimbabwe Agricultural Show at the Exhibition Park in Harare.
The theme of the show, “Technology, Innovation and Modernisation: Adopt, Accentuate and Accelerate” also resonated well with the President’s call and the national vision of modernising and industrialising the country through innovation and new technologies.
The Zimbabwean economy at the moment is crying out loud for innovative ways in all sectors to ensure that it competes on the global scale.
In fact, economies that are not innovative enough carry the risk of being left out by technology advancements and other initiatives that spur productivity and economic growth.
It is a fact that our agricultural sector is facing some challenges that can be better addressed through innovative ways that bring in new technologies.
From a modern agricultural perspective, traditional methods of farming are no longer sustainable, and the growing demand for food means new ways are needed to enhance food production.
This is the time farmers invest in agri-tech to enhance the transformation of the agricultural sector and ensure food production is taken to the next level.
Newly-resettled farmers should be grappling with how they can modernise their activities if they are to justify their existence on the farms.
In line with the call by President Mnangagwa, Government should be following up on making sure that the means are made available for farmers to acquire new technologies to modernise their operations.
This should be partly the job of the innovation hubs that are being set up at universities by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
Students at these hubs should be the leading lights in innovation, and production of the technologies relevant to agricultural and industrial sectors.
The future calls for everyone to be innovative in whatever sector they belong, if the country is to overcome the challenges it is facing.
The achievement of Vision 2030, which entails the country becoming an upper middle income economy, will be driven by innovation and the acquiring of new technologies.
We have to accept that without innovation, there will be no modernisation of the economy.
It is time we also face the reality that innovation is an important aspect of economic development because it brings efficiency in doing business.
We reckon that innovation capacity cannot be achieved overnight, but it is imperative that those involved start adjusting to the realities they face in this modern world.
With determination and focus, there is nothing that can stop Zimbabwe from achieving its set goals within timeframes it has marked for achieving the objectives.
It is now time to start adjusting all facets of the economy to ensure that conditions necessary for implementing innovative ideas are available.
Let those responsible in both the public sector and the private sector be flexible enough to allow creativity and the application of the innovative ideas.
What is most important for Zimbabwe is that it has the human resource base with the ability to innovate because of our efficient education system.
This education system is being strengthened by the introduction of the Education 5.0 policy enunciated under the new dispensation.
The new education policy is meant to ensure that students at tertiary institutions are taught to be innovative and apply their ideas to industry.
The new system will produce graduates that can create employment after college through applying the innovative skills they would have acquired in their studies.
The global economy comes with numerous demands which require innovation to be the primary force behind economic growth.
As a country, we should be able to promote innovation and aptly apply it in our developmental processes, so that we are able to adapt to the changing business environment.
Countries that managed to innovate have been able to be at the forefront of influencing global events, starting from the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom in the 16th century.
Lessons from such historical events indicate that Zimbabwe has to initiate an innovation-driven growth as a prerequisite for development in various sectors.
In light of this, it is most welcome that President Mnangagwa has been constantly emphasising the building of a mental framework which spurs innovation as a major characteristic of the new dispensation.